A day trip to this old railroad town is well worth the drive. You can also bike to Basalt from Aspen or Snowmass via the relatively flat Rio Grande trail, then rack your bike on one side of the local buses from the return trip.
At the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers, Basalt has the laid-back feeling of a ski town without the lift. Walking down its main drag, Midland Avenue, you get a hint of what Aspen must have been like years ago. Browse the town's small shops and upscale galleries and then dine at one of the intriguing restaurants. West of downtown, in the Willits subdivision and neighboring El Jebel, you'll find even more fabulous, locally owned restaurants. If you're an angler, the Fryingpan River, with its Gold Medal waters, is the place to fly-fish.